I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether it is intended to relax or suspend the Muzzling Order for dogs in Ireland?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
There is no intention at present to relax or suspend the Muzzling Order in Ireland. The results of its operation since July last, when it came into force, are very encouraging. During the half-year ended 31st December last, the number of cases of rabies was 162, as compared with 335 cases during the previous half-year. The figures for the first quarter of the present year show a still greater reduction, only 14 cases having occurred in that period, as compared with 150 in the first quarter of 1897. In these circumstances, there is reason to hope that a continued strict enforcement of the Order may, at no very distant date, lead to the stamping out of rabies in Ireland.